It's an extreme worst case number. You don't buy fuel from Tower unless you have *no* other choice -- the hazmat fees eat you up, and the shipping doesn't help unless you can avoid sales tax.
You also didn't really round up. $90 for the 4 gallons, $20 hazmat fee per case (yes, that is the real cost), $8 shipping, $7 sales tax (I assume it doesn't apply to the hazmat fee). $31.25/gallon, to your door.
The rest of the US buys 10% nitro for about $13/gallon, and many people buy it in bulk (or mix their own) for less. If you reduce the nitro percentage, it gets even cheaper.
And as Paul said, 30% nitro is the exception rather than the norm. The only people I know that use 30% nitro are helicopter guys and car racers.
| > | so much for low cost. Over time the batterys will save you a fortune. | >
| > Using your math and your 750 cycles estimate (which I question), the | > costs of the glow fuel vs. the LiPo battery are almost exactly the | > same ($550 vs $562) -- it hardly saves you a fortune. | | 330 or so cycles, from a manufacturer's white paper.
I believe that. It totally blows away the `electric is much cheaper' argument -- instead of $550 (electric) vs $562 (glow), using 330 cycles and the cheaper battery pack that I mentioned earlier, it turns into $750 (electric) vs. $562 (glow) for the same 180 hours or so of flight time mentioned earlier. These are probably typical values -- if one has a cheaper than retail source for glow fuel or batteries, both figures could easily go down.
(Also note that we're still assuming 100% efficient motors and gear boxes.)
| I can't find the link this moment.
If you do, post it. It's probably something many of us want to read. | The problem isn't strictly the cost. Battery weight for .30 and larger | becomes prohibitive. Power density for lipos is very close to 1 hp/lb at | 10C, a pair of very round numbers you can easily roll off the top of your | head.
I think it's mostly the cost. For sport flying, that 1 hp/lb at 10C is plenty.
Yes, if I were serious about pylon racing, I'd probably go with glow, and certainly if I had some plane that I meant to fly for hours without refueling, but beyond that, the only thing keeping me from going 100% electric is cost :)
(and it's not even the cost of ESCs and brushless motors anymore. It's the cost of *batteries*.)